I never intended for the blog titles to match the episode titles, but I couldn’t come up with anything brilliant this week, so there you go…
I wanted to say, “This week, we got to see…*fancy blah blah*…cosplay.” but that’s not me. One, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen the relevant episode (or, if you’re the fabulous Celeste or the super awesome Dr. Moo, lived through it–thanks for reading my blog!) and two, you know from last week that I tend to get straight to the point.
The Nerd War was an excellent foray into exactly what makes some nerds tick. As I said in the most recent episode post, I find cosplay fascinating, but since I’ve never been to any conventions (and don’t have any plans to go, now that Dexter is ending), I’ve never had the opportunity to do it. Forcing the players to come out of their shells and tell a story to go along with their costumes was also a good idea and receives my Novelista Seal of Approval.
I wanted to like the blue team (now Team Blextrophy) early on, because I think orange is an ugly color; nevertheless, the Servants of the Forsaken Orb have shown their chops yet again. But let’s forget how badly Blextrophy is doing for a minute. Instead, let us focus on the two nerds who seemed determined to drag themselves front and center this week: Virgil and Alana.
As my Oma says, Alana “doesn’t parse right”. It’s not that she has an associates and is therefore the low man on the academic totem pole (at least in comparison to the others)…it’s more that she just doesn’t seem to click with the rest of her team. I wanted to give her credit for jumping into Virgil’s shit this week (I, too, would bitch and slap silver shin guards on him), but she lost it when she went to SFO for help in preparing for the Nerd-Off. I understand that she feels that she’s the outcast in Blextrophy and that she wanted some moral support in her preparation, but I wouldn’t have gone so far as to seek assistance from the other team. Not only is that disloyal–period–but you never know when the opposing team might not have your best interest at heart and will attempt to sabotage you without your knowledge. (If you’re thinking at this point that I’ve seen too much Survivor…I cannot disagree!)
Virgil is a dick. Plain and simple. Brandon might have avoided labeling him, but that’s because Virgil had already done the dirty work for him. You are a nerd you are supposed to be working on your costume, not wasting your time raiding the RadioShack room and getting into arguments with SFO! I can see why he needed help getting those shin guards on (not really do-able with a flat costume), but everything else should have been prepped and ready to go. I agree with Alana: “We’re going outside in ten minutes and you’re not ready yet?!“
I wish Virgil had been put into the Nerd-Off this week. I HATE screamo with a passion, but I’ll tell you in no uncertain terms that I would’ve preferred another week of Jon’s screamo yells to Virgil’s attitude or Alana’s whining.
Brandon: New this week to the favorites list, Brandon caught my attention because of his sense of humor. Something with what he says or his jokes or…I’m not sure what (probably should’ve written this blog last night, before I subjected my mind to a fourth straight day of work)…but he makes the list this week. Especially for the runes on his necromancer’s robe. Real runes = nerdiness.
Celeste: I’m sorry you’re on Blextrophy. I really am. I can’t wait until the merge (assuming there’s going to be one?) because you’d be much better off competing with Moo and others of your mental capacity. That being said…what was going on with Miss Ruby? Based on your behind the scenes blog, I was pretty excited to see what you came up with, but you let me down! (Although you do score a few extra points for sending plastic darts whizzing past the judges!)
Moogega: You already know I’m in kind of a womance* with Moo. But oh…oh…OH! SFO’s whole fantasy storyline was just the best and when I realized that Moo had a shaman thing going on? Well, it reached down to my little Pagan heart and plucked every last string like a harp. I was definitely in love and wished that we could spend more time with Shadow Raven and the rest of the team. It felt so short!
Aaand…I’m dangling here. It’s early Monday morning. My mind is still blown from my “work week” (Thursday through Sunday). If I come up with anything else, I’ll post it.
*According to Urban Dictionary, “womance” is the feminine equivalent of “bromance”.
Okay…here comes the nitpick you’ve all been waiting for. The costumers for KotN did some things really well and other things…*makes a face* (Reference photo here.)
(P.S.: How cute is Bobby as a samurai?! *fangirl squee*)
The most galling thing isn’t even a mistake in geisha costuming; it’s a mistake period: WHY DIDN’T YOU HAVE CURTIS SHAVE?! *puff, pant* Onnagata are expected to be clean-shaven…this should be no exception! (Onnagata are men who play female roles in kabuki.)
More subtly, they should’ve made him take his wedding ring off. Geisha are not married. (In all my reading, I’ve only ever heard of one…and who knows how long she lasted in the industry–or in her marriage–after the book was written.) Part of the allure is that the customers–usually men–can fantasize about what it would be like to date (or bed) geisha, while the artiste herself is forever out of their reach. A wedding ring might not be a turn-off to a female customer, but geisha parties are still predominantly male, so a ring would ruin the whole atmosphere.
Moving on (and running from the top down)…what kind of hairstyle is that supposed to be? If it’s the geisha style (and not an attempt at any of the maiko styles), they missed pretty badly. (See this photo for more detail…the one on the left is a geisha, while the one on the right is a maiko.) A simple, bowed ribbon in the front is also a no-no…geisha have much more subdued hairstyles. Even if they were trying to make him into a maiko, the ribbon should be wrapped around the top knot and not in a flashy bow. (More on maiko styles here.) The flowers are fine…they look like the kanzashi (hair ornaments) I’ve seen in photos. The trouble–again–is that flowers are best suited to a maiko, not an adult geisha, as Curtis should be. (If the costuming department is positing him as a maiko, then the complaint is that the wig is underdecorated, as opposed to over for a geisha.)
The second most galling thing is the makeup…the coloring is too subtle. I understand not wanting to fuss with oshiroi (the traditional white makeup), as it requires a special oil applied to the face and needs to be painted on a certain way, but couldn’t you at least settle for greasepaint? (If that is greasepaint, then the makeup department diluted it too much…a good “geisha” should have a face as white as a clown.) A little too much red around the eyes for a geisha (unless–again–we’re going for maiko), but good on the red eyeliner. The ears are never painted (seen here) and I bet they didn’t take time to do up the nape of his neck, either. (See the previous photo.) And–I never thought I’d say this to a man–your lipstick needs to be brighter than your kimono! (*chuckle*)
Any problems I’d have with the neckline would probably be solved with my next nitpick–Curtis isn’t wearing a nagajuban (underrobe)! (I assume he’s only wearing a kimono and underwear…and if he’s not, I don’t want to know!) As I’m sure you’ve noticed from all the sample pictures, the nagajuban sets off the kimono–subtly for a geisha and not so much for a maiko. (The nagajuban is also the garment to which the famous red/white collars are attached.) If they had put him in a nagajuban, there would be a little less skin showing around the front of the neckline. I can’t tell how far down the kimono is draped, but if they didn’t apply makeup on his the back of his neck (as I suspect), then it’s probably not pulled down far enough. The kimono and the nagajuban need to be pulled down to show the first several vertebrae in the spine, as the nape of the neck is considered sexy (on a geisha) in Japanese culture–and even more so when makeup is properly applied.
The kimono is way too bright. As with the wig, geisha wear more subtle colors…maiko are supposed to stand out, so that color would be fine if Curtis was a great deal younger. But he’s not! The burgundy of the obiage would be a perfect shade for a geisha (real or fake) of his age. I would almost like to see more of a pattern on the kimono, but not too much, or the costuming department would be guilty of trying to make him into a maiko again! (See how subtle this is? Keep that photo open for the next paragraph…I’m using it for a reference picture.)
The obi looks just a little bit too narrow, in comparison to the reference photo and–even though I’ve seen the episode since I started working on this post–Curtis never turns around, so I can’t see if the costume department tied correctly. (I’m also not loving a cream obi with a red kimono, but that’s another story.) The obiage is sticking out too much, but that may have been easily fixed if the obi was wide enough in the first place. The obijimae (the lilac cord in the reference picture and the gold cord in the original picture) is fine. A true kimono enthusiast might complain and say that a simple cord is not an appropriate obijimae, but since I’m not a connoisseur, I don’t care.
Overall, it’s a pretty decent effect, even if there are a lot of mistakes present. Besides, Curtis is not portraying the geisha as a slut (as has been far too common in American culture), so I’m satisfied.
As far as the episode? Next post, ladies and gentlemen, if you please…!
So I griped about the King of the Nerds people not asking the contestants what they were reading, but I never said what I was reading.
Anyway, I’m into Endless Highway for about the fifth time.
No, I’m not trying to win brownie points with Bobby (why the fuck do I always type “booby”?! Maybe I should just go back to calling him “Rob”)…I honestly dig this book out and read it at least once a year. (I keep it stowed in a trunk with the stuffed animals and figures I want to display when I have my own place…primarily because it’s so big.) If you’ve never read David’s autobio/memoir, you really ought to. He had a great sense of humor (either that, or what I think is funny is really not!) and it’s really interesting to look into nearly sixty years of his life, from all his projects, to his art, his hobbies and his myriad odd jobs before he hit the big time.
I said a few times after first reading it that I would like to see another family member write a book about the fourteen intervening years between the end of Endless Highway and his death, but now I’m starting to think otherwise. Yes, David’s Kill Bill diary was interesting (though not nearly as informative); nevertheless, I plunked down some money to read that steamy tell all that one of his exes wrote after his death and…well… (I should point out that I would never directly feed that bitch money…I bought it used and got rid of it through Paperback Swap when I was done.) I know a novelista should never say this, but some stories are better left untold.
Check back in the coming days for my take on episode two of KotN…including a complete nitpick of Curtis’s makeup and kimono.
(What kind of geisha nerd would I be without it?!)
I’m probably the last to admit this (and I don’t know why…I’ve never had any bad experiences, except for accidentally making Sienna think that I wanted to be friends with her only because of her family), but I have a bit of a thing for the Carradines. *cringe*
That being said, it was pretty inevitable that I’d want to watch King of the Nerds. (Duh, right?) The only satellite I have at my place is satellite internet, but the way our viewing culture has evolved, it doesn’t matter–I can catch up with KotN any time I want. (I wouldn’t recommend the TBS site, though. Maybe it’s just my connection, but I can’t get any of their videos to come up.) Since I work Thursdays-Sundays, I grabbed the premiere Monday night (January 21) in that ninety minute block between Two Broke Girls and having the house to myself. (Read: I live on hostess wages and my favorite time of night/morning are when only the cats and I are awake. Ahem.)
Anywho, the starter was a bit slow…but then again it would be, given that they were picking teams and playing giant chess. One of my bandmates tried to teach me chess back in high school, but I never really got it. (Hell, I couldn’t even get it on that five-hour flight to Ireland when I was seventeen!) But this week looks promising: cosplay! I can’t believe that dressing up is considered…well, a sport for the convention-going kind; but then when I see all the work that goes into some of the costumes (and how freaking expensive some pieces are online!), I see it’s as much of a nerdtastic sport as Quidditch. (I can hear some people out there cheering that I made that comparison. And why not? 😉 ) There’s a new preview video out, showing Curtis as a geisha and Bobby as a samurai (I haven’t seen it…*tear*) and all I can ask is, “Why?!” No, I don’t think the concept is horrifying…more that one of my other guilty pleasures is geisha, so I’d prefer to see it the other way around! (Although maybe seeing my favorite male Carradine as a geisha would scar me for life, so perhaps TBS made the right decision…!)
I cultivated a couple of favorites from the premiere. I don’t remember if I saw any guys that I particularly liked (although Virgil definitely has a “nerd next door” thing going for him!), but there was a pair of ladies that caught my attention. The first was Celeste, a passionate gamer and speed cuber. Yes, this woman can speed through a Rubix cube in twenty-five fucking seconds! (I don’t know what her record is, but that’s her time from an interview this morning. I’m impressed that she can not only solve a Rubix cube, but doing it while answering interview questions! Amazing!) I don’t know what was the most attractive…maybe it was simply that she’s huge into gaming and I’m kind of envious, ’cause I gave up my 360 to write novels! (Not that I’d ever have the patience to be a crazy gamer like her, but…) My other favorite–and the one I’m rooting for–is Moogega. When I saw mentions of her on Twitter, I thought her name was a gamer handle or something, but no…Moogega (Moo-jay-guh) is her real name. Moo is a Ph.D. recipient who works at NASA as a planetary defense engineer…and she’s only 26! (I think the BBT boys should be afraid of her…I really do! She could outdo them in a heartbeat!) And she’s cute, too…adorable cute!
My biggest disappointment on this nerd questionnaire? No “what are you reading”! Certainly these people must stick their noses in books from time to time! Sheesh. Oh well…I will proceed to fill out the questionnaire for myself, and you can see how un-nerd-y I am:
- Game of Thrones, Walking Dead or Battlestar Galactica: You’d think I’d say BSG, given that my “Hollywood boyfriend” guest starred, but none of them hold a candle to Big Bang Theory!
- World of Warcraft or Call of Duty: I got lost in WoW and I thought Halo was cool, until I tried playing it in one player and realized how bad I was. No, if I had to pick a FPS, it would be any of the Doom games. (OLD SCHOOL!)
- Math or Science: Science, without a doubt. I am terrible at math and while I’m better with the…what do you want to call it? The “softer sciences”? (Earth sci, forensic sci, etc.) I still enjoy it. Which is probably why I hold a bachelor of science and not a bachelor of art!
- Edison or Tesla: I don’t know enough about Tesla to fairly judge.
- Asteroids or Ms. Pacman: Neither….I was more into combat games at the arcade.
- Favorite Superhero: I read Spider-Girl for a while. I like Spider-Man, but there are so many different iterations of the comics and the movies that a girl can quickly get lost! (If I have to choose between the movies, I’d definitely go old school again and say the originals.)
- Favorite Video Game: Lego Star Wars (the Complete Series). How much fun is it to run around and smash furniture with a light saber?!
- Favorite TV Show: Big Bang Theory, although Two Broke Girls is a close second.
- Favorite Movie: Non-Jamie, probably True Lies or The Craft. With Jamie, I think it’s a tie between Blowback and Sharpshooter.
- Favorite Musician or Band: I love Enya, but her CDs have been disappointing lately. The Strange Familiar is great, but so is Adele. ❤
- Pet: A silver tabby named Lauren (turning five next month)
- Celeb on Your Team: Well, if you’re going to make Bobby stay on as a judge, I’d love to have James Remar…even though he’d be distracting!
- Aliens: Whatever Moo says…knowing about aliens is her job!
- Favorite Game Show: At least I feel properly nerdy with an answer of Jeopardy! I love sitting there and just firing off answers, no sweat. Too bad I’ve never been called for an audition!
P.S.: There is a Facebook page dedicated to Dr. Moo’s tushie. No, I’m not kidding: https://www.facebook.com/MoogegaCoopersBooty
I think I may have mentioned in the past that I have a friend of Romani descent…if not here, then certainly on Twitter. I incorrectly remembered that she is not of half Romani descent, but is indeed a pureblood. (Who lives in a house with three Outsider roommates, in case anyone wonders.)
Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to get Aunt Tana’s response on Willa’s living situation, Uncle Shadrack and a few other things. So I present you with an excerpt from a recent email (with minimal corrections), translations provided where necessary. (She’s taught me a few words in the time I’ve known her, so that’s why some aren’t translated.)
Sa se Rrom (I am Romani), if what you were asking is were both my parents, yes. Va de fa Calderon. (We are of Calderon/Kalderash descent.)
It’s perfectly possible for Romgeri[/Romani] to live in brick-and-mortar houses, they don’t all travel all the time. As for living in the trailer, yes Willa does [live in it by herself], but [Walter and Leo have] control of it. There’s nothing that effectively keeps them out of it if they want to go into it. There is, as you said, a pitiful lack of chaperoning and what passes for it is all male and [Willa is] single. I cannot believe that [her] family would allow that. We know she might be fooling around with Timo, but dammit there should be an attempt to keep her innocent until she’s married, and CERTAINLY an attempt to make sure that if she’s NOT, it’s ONLY Timo and [that there’s no one else they can accuse her of fooling around with]. There’s a lot about the appearance of impropriety. And [Walter and Leo] are doing nothing to protect her, and living alone in a trailer owned by a couple of single guys…NOT a [good] way to do that.
And yes, if Shadrack was [as] stupid as he appears to be and that far against the will of the clan, the women would have him out so fast his head would spin! Yes he’s in charge, but there has to be SOME amount of goodwill there. He’s not a god, and he’s not a total dictator where whatever he says goes no matter what. And all it takes is for one of the oldest of the dukkerin [fortune tellers/divination experts] to make noises about how the spirits say he’s BAD FOR THE CLAN. The men may be in charge, but the women can put them there. After all, the women make the babies that increase [clan membership]–you don’t want to upset [those responsible for] the next generation.
Are there [betrothals] that piss people off? Sure. Are there matches specifically made to end disputes and all? Yes. But most of the time the people going into those are fully aware of that, and steps are taken to make it okay [among all parties]. You try to find a pair that will [agree to the betrothal] without being pushed too hard. And if the match is SO bad that one side is trying so hard to run away that they’re [willing to involve] the gadjee [Outsider] police…someone with power [in the clan will intervene]. [Traditionally speaking], there [should be] LIMITS to [Shadrack’s power]. Actions like, that pushing Willa THAT far, pushing Timo THAT far, endanger the entire clan and all it’s allies.